In January 2020, Fairkonnect is partnering with Erin Doppelt, an international spiritual educator, wellness speaker and retreat leader to host a spiritual escape to Goa, India. The escape will consist of yoga classes, meditation and chakra workshops, silent breakfasts and adventures exploring Goa’s unique heritage and nature in the afternoons and evenings.
We ask two of the co-hosts, Erin Doppelt and Prachi Jain of Fairkonnect what makes this group trip to India unique and what they hope the group takes away from the experience.
Notes from Erin Doppelt
1. Why are you choosing India as the destination for your yoga and mindfulness immersion?
India is a deeply spiritual and colorful place that encourages awareness and growth in all people. My time living in India was so impactful! I have always wanted to guide people through India to show them the depth of the country mirroring their own depth. India is where yoga and mindfulness was birthed and I want yogis from the West to integrate their yogic knowledge while on retreat.
2. What sets this trip apart from all the other yoga and wellness retreats?
This is a Chakra retreat which means each day is focused on one of the Chakra's or energetic wheels within a person. This retreat is also different as it marries western psychology to eastern practice. Each day will have a specific chakra, a meditation practice, a psychological theme to work with, an asana/yoga practice and sustainable tourism throughout the day.
3. What kind of traveler should join this trip?
Anyone who is curious about India and spirituality. Someone who is interested in Ayurveda, which is wellness and the pathway to health in India. Someone who gets along well with others and enjoys new experiences. A background of yoga is recommended. Also, if you love food *sigh* I REALLY love food, the food on this trip will be magic amazing so come eat with me!
4. What do you hope to share and have the outcome of this trip be?
Wow, I just love India and it really makes a person recognize their own purpose and power. I want to share new ways to connect with yourself and the world around you while being immersed in Indian culture. I would also love to share my love of meditation and movement. Also support connection to colors as India is the most colorful place in the whole world. When I first arrived in India in 2015 I met a sweet British couple at the Mumbai International Airport and they told me to "feast my eyes" on all the colors of this place. That was some of the most important advice I've ever received.
5. What activity are you most excited about on the Escape To Goa yoga and mindfulness immersion?
I am so excited for the cooking classes and spending time with the Goan people and learning their stories. I also cannot wait to hike with monkeys, support local shops and non profits and meditate on the beach. I also am excited for the big "ah-ha!" moments that happen in the in between of all the planned activities. This is going to be an incredible adventure I am SO excited!
Notes from Prachi
What do you love about leading travelers through India?
I love hosting small group adventures and experience that allow people to learn something about Indian culture which hopefully sparks something within them. Often times our travelers are working through life stuff back at home and are able to come with an open heart and mind to India. I love facilitating friendships that will last a lifetime as the people that join our groups go through a very unique and special experience together that bonds them together. And lastly, I love shedding light on all the complicated beauty and energy of India.
What is your favorite Indian dish and will we experience it?
This is so hard to answer since every CITY in India has it’s own culinary specialty. I think for Goa in particular I would love for travelers to try the simple Goan pao (bread) that is made in centuries old brick ovens. I know this is a wellness retreat but at some point we HAVE to try Goan Feni which is a regional alcohol that many of the locals like drinking on hot summer days (which is basically year round in Goa). Lastly, there is a spice plantation that we will visit which provides fresh vegan cacao milkshakes. I don’t think I realized how fresh chocolate really tasted until I visited Goa and I can’t wait for everyone to try it.
What’s your favorite experience in Goa?
Goa holds a really special place in my heart as I lived there for almost 5 months a few years back. It’s hard to pick one experience so I’m going to list out my favorite memories. Watching Indian families having fun on the beach. I also love talking to the shop owners in the city of Panjim. It’s one of those cities where the shop owners have been running their shops from their grandparents generation and have many stories to share. Panjim still has many remnants from the Portuguese rule so it’s fun to walk around and see everything from the architecture to the language and food be both Indian and Portuguese. Lastly, hot air ballooning! It was purely meditative and I felt like a bird. It also made me appreciate the lush greenery and landscape of Goa and makes you think about wanting to protect and preserve the beautiful places we travel to.
Should female travelers be nervous about traveling to India?
No. I don’t think anyone needs to feel nervous or intimidated. Fairkonnect does a really extensive pre-departure health, culture and safety training prior to departure. We also have a team of 3 on site to greet you once you arrive at the hotel and accompany you throughout the trip. With the right precautions and sticking with the group, we make sure the trip is comfortable and safe for first and second time travelers to the India.
Fairkonnect is all about everything sustainable. How is this trip going to address sustainability?
I strongly believe that the future of travel needs to be a lot more eco-conscious. Along with our inner wellness, we will explore how to contribute toward environmental and cultural wellness. Some of the elements of our trip include eating vegan food which is less water intensive and harmful to the fragile ecology of Goa. We will also do a marine conservation workshop and learn about organic farming. We’re going to try and get to a place of zero-waste on this trip by not purchasing plastic water bottles and buy more ethical souvenirs as well as fair trade fashion.
To reserve your spot on this trip, visit the Goa registration page.